Toy or miniature breed dogs have increased a lot in recent years, and just by looking at the image in our article it is easy to guess why. Not only are they absolutely adorable, many choose them because their size makes them ideal for apartments and small homes.
But although toy dogs have unique needs because of their size, their care and maintenance is similar to that of all dogs!
Caring for toy dogs
Exercise: Toy dogs may be small, but their exercise needs are not. These little friends need daily exercise and play to stay healthy, happy, and at an ideal weight. Talk to your vet about how much exercise your little dog should get each day. Avoid the temptation to carry your dog in a bag or in your arms all day – all dogs need the opportunity to move their bodies and experience the smells of the world around them.
Training and socialization: It can be easy to let your toy dog’s obedience training and socialization slip into oblivion; after all, how much damage can those little teeth really do? However, neglecting their training and education is a big mistake, as you can create an aggressive or capricious dog that uses your living room as their personal bathroom. Find a form of training for smaller dogs, and remember that patience and perseverance are the key.
Hazards: Due to their small size, toy dogs are at increased risk of injury. Not only do they have finer bones than larger dogs, their size makes them harder to see. Teach your small dog to go to his crate or bed while you are busy doing chores around the house or when you have a lot of guests.
Children and Toy Dogs: Make sure children understand the vulnerability of a small dog. Teach them how to manipulate and play gently with him, and always supervise interactions.
Toy dogs: what breed to choose
Your lifestyle should play an important role in selecting a toy dog breed. Certain breeds, such as the Yorkshire Terrier, are generally healthy, but need a lot of attention. It’s also important for you to know that some toy dog breeds need as much exercise as a larger dog (and even more cleaning!), Such as Pomeranians who were bred for sled pulling and still have similar energy levels to notoriously energetic breeds, like huskies.
Before buying a toy dog …
Unfortunately, it is very common for toy breeds to come from illegal breeding operations or simply from irresponsible breeders. These exist for the sole purpose of making money and have little to know about the welfare of dogs or puppies. Mothers breed continuously, and both adults and cubs have little to no room to move and often live in squalid conditions.
If you are going to buy a toy dog, be responsible and always choose a professional breeder who follows all health and legal measures for dogs, or better yet, investigate in the kennels in your area, and you may find a small companion to adopt.
Whether you are a proud owner of a Chihuahua, a small Italian Greyhound, or any other toy breed, you want to know that proper care of your dog will increase the bond you share and give your pet the best chance for a long and happy life. As always, do not hesitate to contact the Glòries Veterinary Hospital staff with your questions or concerns about your pet, and we will be happy to assist you.